CHEVY MENCS AT ATLANTA: Post Qualifying Notes and Quotes

MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY QUALIFYING NOTES
FEBRUARY 22, 2019

TOP TEAM CHEVY UNOFFICIAL QUALIFYING RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
7th Kyle Larson, No. 42 McDonald’s Camaro ZL1
8th Kurt Busch, No. 1 ComSurv Camaro ZL1
10th Austin Dillon, No. 3 Dow Camaro ZL1
11th Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Camaro ZL1
16th Alex Bowman, No. 88 Axalta Camaro ZL1

TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL QUALIFYING RESULTS:
POS. DRIVER
1ST Aric Almirola (Ford)
2nd Ricky Stenhouse (Ford)
3rd Clint Bowyer (Ford
4th Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
5th Daniel Suarez (Ford)

The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is scheduled to begin on Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m. ET. Live coverage can be found on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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TEAM CHEVY NOTES AND QUOTES:

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 7th
TOP-12 RUN IN QUALIFYING TALK ABOUT IT FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE:
“Yeah, I don’t know. I feel like we tried to learn as much as we could throughout practice of what we needed to do just to get momentum built up. Yeah, I feel like we ran about a similar lap time every round there. I felt like that was all we kind of had in it. Yeah, I felt my balance was better in qualifying than it was practice, so that was good.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 1 COMSURV CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 8th
HOW MUCH DID YOU WORK WITH KYLE (LARSON) TO PREPARE FOR QUALIFYING?
“We were all in the team meetings together and this week there is more of a discussion and action, talking about set-up notes and what drag you feel like you need to take out of your car and still be able to hold it wide-open. I’m happy we are right in that mix. We are the top Chevy’s and sometimes when you are wide-open all the way around in qualifying like this and you are fast, which the SHR cars are fast, they have good horsepower, you don’t have that downforce on your car. I find it odd the No. 4 car is way back and the Penske cars missed the final round too, which tells me they are more geared up for the race.”

AUSTIN DILLON, NO. 3 DOW CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 10th
YOU WERE FAST ALL DAY TODAY:
“Yeah, our car was fast. We were able to run one lap in both rounds and felt like we had a car capable of running a good lap to run two on the last round. Kind of got screwed up off the start there, Clint (Bowyer) left early before the clock was ended. We had got one the round before that we were close, so I just waited and he didn’t. Just part of it. It kind of screwed our clean air and hurt our lap time, but I’m really proud of the guys. We’ve got a really fast Camaro.”

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 ALLY CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 11th
GREAT QUALIFYING RUN FOR YOU GUYS, TOP 11, WAS IT WHAT YOU EXPECTED AND ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR STARTING SPOT?
“Yeah, handling here was premium. That really kind of played out in the end I believe. I think here, Fontana, tracks with high tire wear, it’s a bit more single file and kind of traditional qualifying and then when we get to Vegas or something like Michigan, it’s going to be trying to time it right and get a bigger run and use the draft. We had a solid day today, learned a lot through the course of our two race runs and two mock runs and then got into qualifying there and made all three rounds. Right now, everything is so new we are learning every time we hit the track.”

HOW MUCH DRAFTING HAVE YOU BEEN DOING?
“Today I haven’t been that close. In Las Vegas in the mock races they had out there in the test session, I could get pretty close, maybe the last four feet from somebody’s rear bumper I would lose the nose. I think here, because handling is such a premium, we will still have an issue running behind another car, but I think tracks with lower tire wear, it will be much easier for us to run competitively behind other cars.”

ALEX BOWMAN, NO. 88 AXALTA CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 16th
HOW DIFFERENT WAS THIS QUALIFYING SESSION?
“Yeah, just wasn’t very good. We were a little too free, still running around wide-open, but just wagging the tail a little bit you let the spoiler hang out and these things about stop. That billboard slows them down really quick and we’ve just got to be better than that. A little bit of a bummer, but it should race pretty well.”

WERE YOU SURPRISED JIMMIE JOHNSON WAS ABLE TO POP UP INTO THE TOP 12 AT THE VERY END OF THAT ROUND? DOES RUNNING MORE LAPS HELP?
“Yeah, they are so easy to drive when they are good and even when they are loose, they are super easy to drive, so it’s not like tire fall off is going to be huge in qualifying, making extra runs I don’t think is going to slow you down, so I’m not really surprised that Jimmie was able to get up there.”

WILLIAM BYRON, NO. 24 LIBERTY UNIVERSITY CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 17th
WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?
“We just were kind of I don’t know wide-open, but I felt like we were improved over the course of the day, so that was good. Not really sure what to expect in race trim, we will kind of see what happens when we get there.”

HOW WILL THE WEATHER CHANGE THINGS THIS WEEKEND?
“I don’t know. I really don’t know what to expect here. Qualifying just kind of wide-open didn’t feel like we for whatever reason had enough. I don’t really know, but have to look at where we lost time, but in race trim, hopefully we can get around some guys and try to kind of make something happen when we are in traffic.”

WERE YOU IN TRAFFIC AT ALL DURING QUALIFYING?
“Yeah, I mean, the aero push off the cars has been quite a bit. I have noticed that just with certain guys being around each other, but honestly don’t know. I haven’t been around a single car yet, so I was around the No. 95 when he was coming out of pit road when he was starting his lap. Don’t really know what to expect, but hopefully, our car handles pretty well.”

TY DILLON, NO. 13 GEICO CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 21st
ON QUALIFYING:
“I don’t think any of us really knew what to expect in that qualifying session, but I think handling would have still helped a little bit for some speed. We were just a little too free on our second lap. I’m proud of our GEICO Germain Racing team. Came back with some speed we were fast in practice, so now it’s all focused on the race on Sunday and looking forward to trying to get this thing dialed in for what is going to be a unique race.”

CHASE ELLIOTT, NO. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 22nd
I KNOW THIS IS A DISAPPOINTING QUALIFYING RUN FOR YOU, BUT WAS THIS WHAT YOU EXPECTED AFTER PRACTICE TODAY?
“Yeah, I mean ran wide-open just didn’t go very fast in doing so. Curious to see kind of what Sunday brings. I don’t know what it will be or if guys have to be slow today to be fast on Sunday. I think that is kind of the big question.”

RYAN PREECE, NO. 47 KROGER.COM CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 25th
WHAT DID YOU THINK YOU WERE MISSING TO MAKE THE NEXT ROUND?
“I don’t know what the right or wrong answer is for qualifying yet. I think we just need to trim it out more. The race is what matters. I’m curious to see in the long run how the cars drive.”

DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 RED KAP/ALSCO CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 28th
“We never got to do a qualifying run in practice, so didn’t really know, kind of guessing at the balance. We just did a bad job executing. Left pit road, I had to lift to let a car finish their lap. That put me not up to speed and was kind of a snowball effect from the time we left pit road. Just have to clean it up, but we will be alright.”

WERE YOU WIDE-OPEN?
“Ideally, yes, I’m not sure about my teammate, I haven’t seen it yet, but I was able to run pretty much wide-open everywhere.”

BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 43 MCDONALD’S CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 29th
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO IN PRACTICE TOMORROW IN ORDER TO GET READY FOR THE RACE?
“I don’t know. There are a lot of ‘I don’t knows’ going around in the garage. This weekend we simply don’t know. I was texting my spotter Freddie (Kraft) right before qualifying asking ‘should we get a tow, should we not?’ We have seen a big speed increase when we were getting a slight tow at the Vegas test, so I don’t know. It’s just a lot of unknowns. It pumped me up to see the No. 22 and No. 12 back there with us. I was like ‘alright we aren’t far off’, but we are way off. As a group the whole sport we just don’t know what to expect or adjust. We are trying to figure out somethings on our McDonald’s Camaro ZL1. McDonald’s sounds pretty good they should do more with us. Good to be in Atlanta, shake off Daytona, find some speed for tomorrow and go have some fun Sunday.”

CHRIS BUESCHER, NO. 37 SCOTT COMFORT PLUS CAMARO ZL1 – Qualified 30th
“I kind of liked where we were earlier in practice. I think our race car is good for the hotter part of the weekend. This kind of caught us off guard and unfortunately, it’s just more grip. We didn’t have the speed that we expected, but a hot race track, our race trim was really good and especially when you compare it to other cars, a couple of Penske cars that qualified where we did. I felt like we had good speed, kind of using them as adjustment in race trim earlier in practice. I’m not worried about where we are at. I did not expect to be that bad in qualifying, so we are a little bummed about that.”

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